Beginning in June, we are delighted to share a new approach to each month’s focus: the pose of the month! Each month, one of our teachers will select a pose and share her thoughts about and experiences with it in our schedule-announcing email. Then teachers will take up the challenge of incorporating the pose of the month—or variations of it—into their class sequences for all but our yin and restorative classes.
We look forward to exploring each month’s pose with you, and we are grateful to Debbie Marquette for contributing our first pose of the month!
June’s Pose of the Month
- Parsva(o) = side or flank
- Uttan = intense
- Tan = extend, stretch, lengthen
- Asana = pose or posture
Parsvottanasana is a standing pose that intensely stretches the chest, shoulders, wrists, legs, hips and back. This full body pose is commonly referred to as pyramid pose. Working through the challenges of Parsvottanasana is definitely worth the effort so that the many benefits can be experienced.
For me, it is particularly challenging to find balance and stability in the pose while maintaining alignment. The shoulders and hips work to align parallel to the front of the mat with the legs straight and split front to back. Practitioners are also challenged by the classic hand position of reverse Namaste. The hands are brought behind the back with palms together and fingertips pointing upward. The chest then opens and lifts as the torso bows over the front leg. If the hamstrings are not screaming by now, then the wrists are begging for mercy. For those of us with injuries or limitations, the instructors will share optional tips and guide us into modifications in order that all students will find success and experience the numerous benefits of the pose.
The well-earned benefits of Parsvottanasana include lengthening of the hamstring muscles, allowing us to walk and move with greater ease. The intense stretch of the shoulders and chest combats habitually rounded shoulders and upper back. This in turn contributes to healthy respiratory and heart function. Those able to position the hands in reverse Namaste have the opportunity to stretch the wrists, keeping the joint healthy for daily tasks and work. But the reason that I continue to explore Parsvottanasana in my home practice is the potential of the pose to calm and soothe the nervous system, mind and spirit as I fold forward and move my attention from the outer world to my inner space.
Join the 4yoga instructors this month as we take a deeper look at Parsottanasana and its relationship to our practice.
Namaste, Debbie M.
June updates and events:
- Standing Strong Workshop with Lisa Kearny on Sat., 6/15, at noon. Have you ever wanted to refine your understanding of standing poses? If so, join Lisa Kearny for her 2.5-hour Standing Strong workshop on Saturday, June 15. Read more about the workshop on our website, and contact Lisa directly to register.
- Registration open for all three @the Museum classes. If you would like to practice hatha yoga, yin yoga, or meditation at The Downing Museum in June, please sign up now to reserve your space! Read more about all three classes and their teachers and follow the links to register on our website.
- Drop-in meditation classes continue. Alice Simpson offers Mindfulness Meditation classes on the second Saturday and second Tuesday of each month: these sessions are available on a drop-in basis and for our usual $5 class fee. Whether you are new to meditation or an experienced meditator, please join Alice on Sat., June 8, at 2 p.m. (in the studio) and Tues., 6/11, at 5:30 p.m. (in the lounge). Read more on this earlier post.
For a full list of June classes, please see the calendar page of this site—or pick up a hard copy at The Pots Place. We also post the day’s classes each morning on our Facebook page, should you find it convenient to keep up with us there.